Kolkata: The Coal India Ltd (CIL) has urged power stations "not to restrict intake of coal during monsoon period when power generation demand drops", but to use this period as an opportunity to build stocks to cope with subsequent increase in power demand, a statement said on Wednesday.
The coal behemoth said most of the thermal power stations have been facing crisis situation since the last fiscal, as they had chosen to restrict intake of coal due to subdued power generation demand during 2016-17 and started consuming the inventory to cope with the spurt in demand for thermal power generation in 2017-18.
According to the miner, the situation could have been averted, "had they realised inherent logistics constraints for rushing coal to the power plants widely dispersed across the country at short notices and maintained safe stocks as per the norms prescribed by the CEA (Central Electricity Authority)".
The Coal India and the Indian Railways are working in synergy to help ensure that the power plants in the country have enough of coal.
"An action plan has been drawn to prioritise coal supplies to power stations lest they turn critical due to non-availability of coal," it said.
Outcome of the coordinated efforts of the CIL and the Railways gets reflected in a CEA report that indicates reduction in the number of critical power stations from 30 as on April 1, 2018, to 13 on July 2, 2018.
Growth in despatch of coal to power sector has helped coal-based generation achieve positive growth of 5.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2018-19, thereby offsetting the negative growth in generation from other sources.
Also, coal-based thermal generation during April-June 2018 has achieved a materialisation of 102 per cent, it said.
The CIL has despatched 122.84 million tonnes of coal to the power sector during the first quarter (April-June 2018) as compared to despatch of 106.46 million tonne same period last year.
The coal requirement, as indicated by the Ministry of Power is 1.41 million tonne per day.
However, the CIL despatched 1.35 Million tonnes of coal per day during April-June 2018.
The Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Coal have taken initiatives to convince the power producers in the vicinity of the coalfields to lift more coal by road and captive modes of transportation, so that the railway rakes presently in use for these power stations can be utilised for the long-distance power stations.
There is also push for the short-distance power stations to develop their own captive transportation networks like aerial ropeways, elevated belt conveyors, Merry-Go-Round System, etc.
With the focussed efforts of the miner to sustain substantial coal supply to the power plants, it expects to meet 100 per cent requirement of 524.6 Million tonnes of coalm as projected by the Ministry of Power during the current fiscal and in the coming years as well.